The State Department is reopening an internal investigation of possible mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and top aides, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Although the former secretary of state’s closest confidants have left the agency, they could still face punishment. The most serious is the loss of security clearances, which could complicate her aides’ hopes of securing top positions on her national security team if she becomes president.
The State Department started its review in January after declaring 22 emails from Clinton’s private server to be “top secret.” It was suspended in April so as not to interfere with the FBI’s inquiry. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the probe is restarting after the Justice Department’s announcement Wednesday that it won’t bring any criminal charges.
“We will aim to be as expeditious as possible, but we will not put artificial deadlines on the process, ” Kirby said. “Our goal will be to be as transparent as possible about our results, while complying with our various legal obligations.”
Kirby wouldn’t say anything more about the precise information officials are evaluating. But when the probe was launched almost six months ago, officials said it pertained particularly to a set of emails that were upgraded to one of the nation’s highest classification levels. One question they said they were investigating was whether any of the emails were classified at the time of transmission.